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Should the EA community be ok with people publishing a post here and then asking others—in small EA-related groups—to upvote the post? If not, are there exceptions? (E.g. what if the post seems unusually important?)




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I think this method of "promoting a post" should be discouraged in the EA community.

The community's attention is a limited resource. Gaining more upvotes in an "artificial" way is roughly a zero-sum game with other writers on this forum and it adds noise to the useful signal that the karma score provides. It also seems counterproductive in terms of fostering good coordination norms within the community.

I agree. But I think it should be okay to present arguments for why the post might get fewer upvotes than it deserves.

As a clarification: I don't think "here are some good effects that would come out of getting lots of upvotes" would count as such an argument.

I am now feeling like the legitimate use cases for such arguments might be narrow enough, and their benefits small enough, that it might be better to have a norm that disallows them, for the sake of being a cleaner rule. Or maybe it should be okay to make arguments so long as you explicitly cancel any implicature that you're asking people to upvote? Confused about what's best here.

No one should do this.

I encourage people to share their content elsewhere and ask for readers. In fact, I wish people did more of this!

But votes are meant to be one measure of how valuable a post was. Asking people to upvote a post they wouldn't have upvoted otherwise is creating an artificial impression of value that isn't backed up by how people really feel about the post. (Hopefully, if your post is good and someone reads it, they'll upvote it without your needing to ask!)

I would say no, with no exceptions.

If the post seems unusually important you should upvote it yourself, and maybe encourage others to read it. Explicitly asking them to upvote it seems like manipulation.

Should the EA community be ok with people publishing a post here and then asking others—in small EA-related groups—to upvote the post

Generally no.

If not, are there exceptions?

The following would be a situation where I'd consider it appropriate to beg for upvotes:

My uncle Pierce, inheritor of the Hawthorne Wipes family fortune, died recently and left 100 million dollars to be given to a charity picked the first family member who gets 100 upvotes on an internet forum. Please upvote this fast! I would love a chance to get this money and allocate it to the EA Infrastructure Fund, before my cousin wins and donates it all to the Center for Applied Eschatology

Feel free to undo your upvote after the donation has been sent! Thanks fellow EAs. 

Or something like that.

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I think it's okay to post in EA groups specific to the topic and share specifically with EAs who are likely to be interested, and that's likely to have a similar but smaller effect as explicitly asking people to upvote.

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